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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(4), 4185-4202; doi:10.3390/ijerph120404185

The Impact of Living in a Care Home on the Health and Wellbeing of Spinal Cord Injured People

Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leciestershire, LE11 3TU, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Carla Sabariego, Alarcos Cieza and Jerome E. Bickenbach
Received: 30 January 2015 / Revised: 23 March 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 15 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and Public Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [683 KB, uploaded 15 April 2015]

Abstract

In the UK, 20% of people with spinal cord injury (SCI) are discharged from rehabilitation into an elderly care home. Despite this, and knowledge that the home is central to health and wellbeing, little research has examined the impact of being in care homes on the health and wellbeing of people with SCI. The purpose of this study was to address this gap. Twenty adults who lived in care homes or had done so recently for over two years were interviewed in-depth. Qualitative data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Analyses revealed that living in a care home environment severely damages quality of life, physical health and psychological wellbeing in the short and long-term. Reasons why quality of life, health, and wellbeing were damaged are identified. These included a lack of freedom, control, and flexibility, inability to participate in community life, inability to sustain relationships, safety problems, restricted participation in work and leisure time physical activity, lack of meaning, self-expression, and a future, loneliness, difficulties with the re-housing process, depression, and suicidal thoughts and actions. It is concluded that for people with SCI, the care home environment violates social dignity, is oppressive, and denies human rights. Implications for housing and health care policies are also offered. View Full-Text
Keywords: spinal cord injury; care home; quality of life; health; wellbeing spinal cord injury; care home; quality of life; health; wellbeing
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Smith, B.; Caddick, N. The Impact of Living in a Care Home on the Health and Wellbeing of Spinal Cord Injured People. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 4185-4202.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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